Archive for the ‘spiders’ Category

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Garden Stories

June 1, 2007

Since I have nothing fiber related to talk about, I will tell two stories about my garden. You get pictures, too!

This morning, I asked Tony if he had gone out to the garden to see if we had more zucchini. Last week a lot of my zucchini ripened at the same time I had picked them, cooked them for dinner, and baked them into zucchini bread. Zucchini = Fun!

Growing zucchini has been such an instant gratification for me and the kids. It grows really fast, is fun to pick and you can cook it with practically anything.

Okay, back to my story…

Tony told me there was only a little zucchini in the garden and it wasn’t read to be picked yet. I went out there to look at it and he showed it to me. It did need another day. However, when I looked a bit futher, towards the ground way under everything, I found the GIANT!

Only a picture can describe the size of this zucchini and I laugh at the fact that my husband didn’t see it.

To my husband’s credit, you can see how big the zucchini plants are and how it would be difficult to find zucchini way in the back.

(from right to left…Lavender (notice it is starting to bloom), tomatoes, zucchini.

Don’t ask me why we bothered with the tomato cages. The tomato plants are huge and they have outgrown any type of cage. If they get too heavy I will use yarn and tie the branches up to the cage or the fence.

I love how beautiful my garden has gotten. I think I planned it out pretty well. I did have to move the bell peppers a few weeks ago. They are doing well.

On the other side of the zucchini are the carrots, which get just enough light but are hidden by the big leaves of the zucchini plant. I think this creates just enough shade so the carrots don’t dry out. Then there is the bell peppers, corn, and sunflowers (the gopher didn’t get all of them and those remaining are really turning into giants!)

I understand why they call it a bell pepper:

So this leaves me with my other story…

The other night as I was watering my garden (yes, I water my garden at night, every other day) I started to think that there might possibly be spiders crawling around at night. That evening when the sun was going down I had my camera out taking pictures of my stash (its a ravelry thing) and saw a blue jay outside.

I thought it was a great opportunity to add the blue jay to the other photos of the Central Valley wildlife album I have on Flickr. I didn’t have my large lens on, so while I got a nice shot, it was farther away then I wanted to be. When I got closer the bird flew away.

I decided it would be a good time to get some photos of my garden. As I went to get a picture of my tomato, that is just starting to turn red, I noticed all of the webs. Spiders!

I think they are garden spiders.

So I took lots of cool pictures of the spiders. (I will make these links so you don’t get freaked out.)

I had to go in the house and get my larger lens and it took awhile to be able to focus on something so tiny, but I did. I started to get a headache from closing my left eye, which I know not to do, but I do it anyways.

I even got an action shot of one killing its prey.
Garden Spider killing Prey

I then walked over to the swingset and there were so many spiders I started to get dizzy and felt like spiders were crawling all over me. If you want to see the pictures, the set is here.
Garden Spider
Garden Spider

If you want to see more, go to my flickr album.

This is weird…I went over to a friends house the other day and for the small time that I was there she killed a male blackwidow walking on her sidewalk.

Oh…and…when I picked the giant zucchini today it came with a baby black widow. The funny thing is that Tony and I aren’t even alarmed by it. We just squished it with a paper towel on the kitchen counter. Can you believe I had carried the zucchini with the spider on it and didn’t even realize it? Sigh…

Parenting Stuff:
I came up with a catchy way of teaching Sierra the difference between the letter b and d.

“b is bad”

You see, the letter “a” and the letter “d” face the same direction, but since “b” is bad it is flipped.

I hope this helps her remember. Usually she does good, but sometimes she gets confused.

My sister inlaw recently gifted me with two magazines.  The first one is called WonderTime it is a parenting magazine and is pretty interesting.  I rarely read parenting magazines, but this one was full of fun/cool activities for little kids.  She told me she bought the magazines as part of these frequent flier miles she had.  She also bought me a crochet magazine.  I haven’t got it yet, so will be curious to see what she picked out.

And, because sometimes I end up with weird science projects growing in my cupboards/refrigerator…

Trust me…you will NOT see this in any parent magazines:

It is a sweet potato growing frog ears.  There is always something fun (and bizarre) happening at my house, ha ha…

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Another widow

April 10, 2007

Today I was outside watering the garden and took the opportunity to spray down the kid’s swingset and the back patio. I decided to flip over the picnic table and wouldn’t you know….a black widow was under there…a big one.

I won’t tell you how many times my kids have eaten at the table, sat at the table, played near the table, etc. I know that black widows are nocturnal and stay pretty well hidden during the day, but…you know how kids are, putting their fingers in places they shouldn’t.

Tomorrow Tony is going to have to spray the backyard with spider killer.

Seriously…this black widow thing is becoming an issue for me.

I grew up in the valley here and while I knew we had black widows, I rarely encountered them. My dad would find them in the garage and the wood pile, but they weren’t hiding on our toys or in the flower beds. Or…not that I thought. Closeup:

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Black Widow

March 24, 2007

Tonight when my husband came home from work I asked him to water our plant out front.  I was outside with him and as he was bent down by the pot, I noticed there was a black widow spider about 8 inches from his hand.

Because of his location we weren’t sure how to kill him without him dropping into the hole of the cinder block.   Then we remembered last summer when we killed the 30 some odd black widows in the back yard that we bought spider killer.

Tony sprayed him and then he slowly tried to escape and then was stepped on.  Tony sprayed the rest of our front walkway and found an even larger black widow, which escaped under the siding of the house, though it did get sprayed first.

Here are some nice black widow pictures for you:

I guess it is the season…..to think I was going to weed that section of the yard soon.  I guess I will wait a few days…

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Mother’s Day, Cakes & Spiders

May 14, 2006

This weekend I had a joint birthday party for Sierra (whose birthday is on the 18th) and Madeleine (whose birthday is the 5th.) It was pretty successful. Of course in retrospect I wonder if everyone had a good time. We kind of ran out of drinks and then I realized after half the guests left that we didn’t run out of drinks but had another whole pakcage of them under that picnic table, oops. There were no kids activities as I cheated and had it at a park where the kids ran around crazy and free and did a lot of swinging and playing with wood bark and going down the slide.

I thought it would be nice to get a little sun and burned the hell out of myself. In fact, it made me go to bed real early yesterday (7pm.) I woke up almost unable to roll out of bed as my skin hated me. Why am I so stupid sometimes? I hope it doesn’t peel as I hate that, but have a feeling it will. People said I was getting red and well, I just thought I would be a little tiny bit sunburned. I didn’t realize to the extent.

Sierra and Madeleine had the best time. I am so appreciative to all the people who showed up to the party. All of the kids make such a difference and I am so happy I could almost cry. Tony did a great job making the cakes. You see, after I learned of his hidden talent with my cake, I had him make the girls’ cakes. For Madeleine he made the Elmo Cake:

And for Sierra he made a Castle Cake: 

We had an Elmo/Princess party.

Happy Mother’s Day! For Mother’s day we pulled out the rest of the shrubs and found a few more spiders. My camera doesn’t have a macro setting so this is the best I could do. I would love to get a better digital camera and have that on my Christmas list for this next year, though I bet school tuition will be on that list also…ha ha.

Typical Black Widow

This spider is probably not a black widow, but could be an immature one or a male one. They don’t have to be black.

Thanks for all of the support about dropping the classes. To be truthful it feels good to have dropped them. However, the was a part of me feeling that maybe I was being a quitter. I am so determined to finish school and be successful at it. I hate that I quitted years ago and am frequently reminded about how I quit and how the expensive education years ago has gone to waste. I did happen to get into an online Health class. So, I dropped two 4 credit classes and picked up two 3 credit classes, so I am still carrying 10 credits this summer. 🙂